Youngsters take their first swing at baseball

POULSBO — It’s never too early for children to experience America’s favorite pastime. On this note, Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation’s preschool sports program is making sure this spring will provide a grand slam of good times one for North Kitsap kids. Starting Monday, boys and girls from ranging from 3-5 years old began taking the first baseball swings of their young lives.

POULSBO — It’s never too early for children to experience America’s favorite pastime.

On this note, Poulsbo’s Parks and Recreation’s preschool sports program is making sure this spring will provide a grand slam of good times one for North Kitsap kids. Starting Monday, boys and girls from ranging from 3-5 years old began taking the first baseball swings of their young lives.

“This is the second year the program has been up and running,” Poulsbo Parks and Recreation programmer Joe Schiel said. “We’re starting them out with tee-ball. The design of the program is to take an approach where kids will be interested in the sport.”

Nearly 80 youngsters are expected to participate.

Due to the turnout, the program is divided into two sessions — one will be offered Mondays and Thursdays at Pearson Elementary School, while a second will be Wednesdays and Saturdays at Breidablik Elementary School. Each day will focus on a different aspect of baseball.

Schiel said he believes the program will help children develop a sense of independence at a young age.

“This teaches them to participate in something that their mom and dad isn’t leading,” he said. “It’s good for young kids.”

Full games initially won’t be offered initially, but players will be immersed in parts of games with a focus on the fundamentals of the sport.

“Each day we will do something different. One day we might work with them on hitting the ball,” Schiel said. “The next day we might focus on hitting the ball and then running to first base. We’re going to slowly build them up as they learn.”

Schiel knows how it important it is for children to enjoy athletic activities they decide to partake in.

“It’s a very loose and open,” he said. “The biggest goal is to make sure everyone is learning and having fun.”

Registration for the program is currently being accepted. For more information, call (360) 779-9898.